MBB | Opponent Preview: West Virginia Mountaineers

Cooper Neill

The West Virginia Mountaineers are a young squad still trying to figure things out as evidenced by their 5-4 record in Big XII play. However, things may finally be coming together for Bob Huggins as his program is on a two game winning streak with wins over K-State and Baylor. A major factor in righting the ship has been three point shooting.

After shooting a relatively low 31.6% from range as a team last season, there has been an upswing. Currently this is a group connecting on 38.5% of their attempts from three point land. Eron Harris could be considered the most dangerous when pulling up behind the arc. He has attempted a team high 137 three-pointers finding the bottom of the net 58 times (42.3% conversion rate). Closing out on Harris will be crucial as he spread the floor.

Like many teams across the country, guard play is the strength of this program. Of course, having experience and a guy like Juwan Staten helps. Pouring in 18 points per game, Staten is the league's second leading scorer and has the ability to create shots for himself.

Rounding out the trio is Terry Henderson who averages 12.2 points per game. No other Mountaineer is in double-digits in scoring. However, the frontcourt is where WVU struggles to find consistency although there have been flashes of brilliance.

Two freshmen, Devin Williams and Nathan Adrian have signed on adding depth to a squad severely lacking in that category. While Williams provides a viable option specifically in rebounding, the scoring options aren't there. Throughout the season, West Virginia has been outscored in the paint numerous times. Something needs to change if Coach Huggins wants to continue his recent success.

Make no mistake, Huggins instills a sense of physicality in his players. He has this program ready to compete with anyone in the Big XII. The Oklahoma Sooners will have their work cut out for then but it starts with limiting Juwan Staten...a task easier said than done.

The game tips off at 6:00 PM CST and will be hosted in Morgantown, WV before the Sooners return home for a two game stand. Winning on the road has proven tough this season but there is still hope.

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